Glee’s Chris Colfer freaks out Fox executives by talking about being gay

Chris Colfer plays gay high school student Kurt Hummel on the popular Fox comedy “Glee”. Colfer is also out and proud and has been open about it to the press, including in a recent interview with gay magazine The Advocate. He talked about being gay in matter-of-fact way, and apparently that freaked out Fox executives. The National Enquirer reports that Fox officials asked The Advocate to remove part of an interview with Colfer on their website in which he made a reference to being gay.

“Glee” star Chris Colfer’s slip of the lip during a recent interview sent show execs into a panic.

The 19-year-old actor… seemed to accidentally reveal his own sexual orientation while talking about the show in an interview.

When Chris was asked if he was “out” during his own high school years, he replied: “Oh, no. People are killed in my hometown for that!”

And while the disclosure – to “The Advocate,” a gay magazine – was no big deal for Chris, who was raised in Clovis, Calif., it was HUGE for studio execs.

“Fox wasn’t pleased,” an insider told The Enquirer. “They’re very protective of their young stars. And while the studio is pro-gay, they didn’t want Chris stamped with a ‘gay actor’ label so early in his career.

“They want him to be known simply as an ‘actor.’”

A rep from the studio asked the magazine to remove that part of the interview from the web site.

“The gay thing is not an issue for Chris at all,” the insider maintained.

“He hopes his character is an inspiration for gay kids everywhere. But both he and the studio want his personal life to stay under wraps.”

[From The National Enquirer, print edition, November 23, 2009]

This wasn’t the only time that Colfer has spoken to the press about being gay. He also talked about it in an interview with Access Hollywood a few weeks ago in which he answered a similar question about coming out. The interviewer asked him about his experience coming out as compared to his character’s (it’s at 2:30 in this video) and he said his parents were very accepting and that he had a “similar” experience to Kurt’s, but not the same.

The Advocate still has the part of the interview with Colfer on their website that Fox supposedly wanted removed. They also report in a follow-up that Colfer refused to talk about his sexuality in a subsequent interview with USA Today, and said something that seems to confirm that he was told to stop discussing it. “I try to keep up a mystery. As much as I give away of my personal life, the less people will believe me as other characters. I try to be private about it. It is what it is.”

It sounds like Fox executives had a talk with Colfer. It’s his decision whether he wants to talk about being gay or not, but you can’t blame him for doing what his bosses tell him to in order to keep his job. Fox isn’t doing him any favors by trying to keep him from being typecast or whatever they claim their motivation is. It’s nice to see a talented young actor who is comfortable talking about being gay and doesn’t consider it a big deal. If this is what happened, shame on Fox for telling Colfer to change his tune.

Spoilers for past Glee episodes below
As much as Fox seems short-sighted in this decision, I like how Glee is handling the plotline with Kurt. It was touching to see his manly dad stick up for him this week. The “coming out” episode, where the football team did “Single Ladies” dance, was just brilliant. It’s a great show with some compelling characters and they handle some sensitive issue with grace and humor.

Photos from Fox via IGN and The Advocate

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29 Responses to “Glee’s Chris Colfer freaks out Fox executives by talking about being gay”

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  1. Sumodo says:

    Chris is a gay teen playing a gay teen. How groundbreaking is that? How successful is the show? Very. Fox bigwigs should be patting themselves on the back, and let the character he plays be a part of a storyline gay teens can embrace. Why can’t we all get along?

  2. LolaBella says:

    Just when we think progress has been made, shit like this just proves that tolerance isn’t as ‘tolerant’ as we’d like to think.

    Here we have a gay young man playing the role of a gay young man as opposed to hetero or closeted gay man playing the role…I would think this would be a good thing! SMDH!

  3. Kevin says:

    He looks like Justine Bateman.

  4. jane says:

    I like how they turn it around and say though they are pro gay they dont want him to be labeled a gay actor so soon. Like they are doing him a favor. Butthorns. The kid is out and proud. He plays a gay character. I dont understand their problem.

  5. LolaBella says:

    @Jane…ROTFL at ‘butthorns’!

  6. Kaboom says:

    Seems to me like asking a black actor not to mention he’s black while playing a black character. How odd would that be?

  7. MARKY-MARK says:

    GLEE is the Gayest show on television and they are worried about a Gay actor being out. WTF?

  8. lucy2 says:

    First of all, I applaud him for being honest and open. Second, I think it’s disgraceful for Fox execs to try to quiet him.
    In all honesty, did they really think people were thinking this guy is straight? I don’t mean that in a bad way at all and hope it doesn’t come off that way, but really, I figured it was a given. The show is hugely popular and I’ve never heard a bad word said about the actor or character – what are they afraid people won’t accept?
    Chris is doing a great job in the role. He’s talented, has a great voice, and has really put a lot of heart and honesty into a character that could have been little more than a stereotype. I think the show itself has handled the character and storyline beautifully. The other characters accept him and love him for who he is. The audience does the same. If the actor is comfortable talking about his own life and experiences, who the hell are the Fox execs to tell him no? If they’re going to treat him that way, then they need to tell every other actor on that show not to discuss their private lives, because they should all be treated equally.

  9. Harley says:

    I totally agree with the above poster, lucy2. Fox is doing much more harm than good by quieting the talented young Mr. Colfer. The character he plays in the show is proud and accepting of the person that he is. Wouldn’t it show good on Chris’ part if he, too, were the same way? It’s almost contradictory, to me. Honestly, if he’s gay, he’s gay. This really shouldn’t be such a big deal, but sadly, it is.

  10. Squirtle says:

    He is absolutely my FAVORITE character on Glee! I love the show and I wish I had a friend like him in high school, it would have been much more fun.

  11. lucy2 says:

    Thank Harley, and you’re right, it’s totally contradictory. FOX said they’re “pro-gay” (what does that even mean?) and will probably bask in any sort of recognition the show receives for the character and story. But in reality it’s hush hush, don’t talk about it. What a horrible mixed message.
    I don’t blame Chris for backing off if the bosses tell him too. This is his first TV role and I’m sure they’re intimidating. But I hope he realizes that the FOX execs are the only ones who feel that way, the audience likes him for who he is.

  12. susan k says:

    The great thing about Glee is that everyone in that club has some issue that stands outside the metes and bounds of society. the great thing about Chris’s work, acting, voice and role is that he brings an enormous humanity, far beyond the stereotype, to his character. In the Life Imitates Art department, I would guess that both Kurt and Chris feel sorry for the Fox execs for being so.. well, behind the times.

  13. scorpiogal says:

    Kevin- does he ever look like Justine Bateman! Good call!

  14. WTF?!? says:

    He looks more like Jason Bateman.
    C’mon, people.

  15. Essie says:

    I love Chris’s character in “Glee” and a viewer would have to be blind to not know he’s gay in real life. However, I have to (reluctantly) defend Fox (a little, not much).

    Remember what happen with “The Ellen Show” a few years back, when Ellen came out? After that, Ellen mentioned her lesbianism in interviews and viewers complained that she spoke about it too much and it was thrown in their faces. Ellen was cancelled soon after. Maybe Fox is afraid the same would happen with “Glee.” Personally, I don’t think people care but Fox is a conservative company and, if even one viewer were to complain, the first thing they would do is dump Chris. Why risk that?

    P.S.: The star of “Glee” the teacher, is also gay in real life and so is that woman called Sue!! So, it’s not like Chris is the only real life gay person on the show, but the others don’t talk about their orientation.

  16. t says:

    Maybe FOX asked for that part of the interview to be removed not because he spoke of being gay, but because they were worried the citizens of Clovis, CA would sue them for accusing them of murder. ;)

    I love “Glee” and never miss an episode!

  17. CDot says:

    Glee rocks! Too be honest I thought he was gay anyways! Really…who cares, they want him to be seen as an “actor, not a gay actor”…WTF? That statement is just wrong…

  18. jjgg5 says:

    Why should “Fox” object to his story when all their news “journalists” are raving drag queens?

  19. SageAdvice says:

    I don’t understand why someone would be upset about a gay kid saying that he’s gay. It’s not exactly a mystery…

  20. kim says:

    ugh Fox sucks.

    Why am I not surprised that the Fox Network doesn’t support gays? Um FoxNews affiliate ???

    While I don’t think this is groundbreaking there have been gay teens on tv playing gay teens, um yeah the 90′s did happen or were you people stoned at a rave during the decade?

    yeah me too, but at least i put my glowstick down from time to time.

  21. Dominique says:

    I thought it was pretty obvious he was gay. No one is that good of an actor. I love his character and I think he should be free to be who he is. I don’t think anyone will have a problem with it.

  22. bobelly says:

    I, also, love the show. I wonder how the show helps the younger gay child with self esteem issues. I remember growing up, as a gay youth in the 50′s and 60′s, and told how a gay man should act. I was never comfortable in the sissy role but was a sissy because that’s what’s expected of me. It took me many years to be content with who I was, not what I was. The GLBT kids of today to understand that “Chris’” role is not the rule of being gay. Just one of the many faces of being gay.

  23. Emily says:

    @Essie, I thought Mr Shuster was in a relationship with a woman? Meh. Jane Lynch I’ve known was gay for years. I love her, she’s fucking awesome.

  24. leonard says:

    gay or not, chris is the best actor on glee! and like marky sad, glee is the gayest show on tv, why don’t fox set him free to expose his sexual orientation?

  25. tom says:

    he is a stereotypical one dimensional cartoon. no depth, no ability beyond ‘gay’ let him try a non gay role… you’ll see how deep he is(n’t)!

  26. Samantha says:

    You know, Chris Colfer being as young as he is, telling people about him being gay, will be most likely touching to young children who are uncertain of what they are sexually. Me how ever, I had come out at school and I was almost killed because of it. I may only be in 8th grade but I am smart enough to know that people in big cities do NOT approve of openly gay students. I am and am proud to be, but as Chris intelligently stated “people are killed in my hometown for that” and luckily the person who came at me with the knife was not the sharpest knife in the crayon drawer. But still no matter what I will not make every one else go through my own personal Hell, Chris Colfer is my idol and you want to know something. He is and inspiration and all of you idiots who cant realize that can shrivle up and die in the darkest pits of Hell.

  27. Clarissa says:

    Way back in the old days of Hollywood, gay actors had to get married to cover their true selves. Of course that was also when having any African American heritage was shameful (the old “one drop” rule) and women in the movies fainted at the drop of a hat. PLEASE tell me things have changed.

    I would be so saddened if Chris being honest meant his career was in any way stifled. He is so talented.